Spending Valentine’s Day at Walt Disney World? Um, failed to plan ahead? Yep. We’ve all been there. So I’ve got good news and bad news. The bad news is you’re going to need some serious pixie dust to get a table at Victoria and Albert’s, California Grill, or Be Our Guest. The good news? There are still a number of restaurants at Walt Disney World that can be counted on for those of us who need a last-minute reservation for Valentine’s Day. I’ve put together a list of underrated gems offering both a setting and experience for the most romantic day of the year, as well as few honorable mentions to save the day.
Artist Point at the Wilderness Lodge resort captures the elegance and majesty of the National Parks and offers views of Bay Lake and the resort grounds, a picturesque setting for a Valentine’s Day dinner. In keeping with the theme, Artist Point offers Pacific Northwestern cuisine. Choices range from cedar plank salmon to scallops and mussels to smoked mushroom bisque. Artist Point is tucked out of the way, making it a perfect escape and ideal alternative for those us in need of a last-minute dining reservation Walt Disney World.
This restaurant doesn’t offer the sophisticated setting typical of a Valentine’s Day dinner. To me, it feels like you’re dining in someone’s cozy Florida home. But I have to mention it because I can always count on it for a last-minute reservation, and a truly delicious meal appealing to most palates is guaranteed. You can’t go wrong with their buttermilk chicken or sea scallops. If you and yours don’t mind a laid-back, casual-style Valentine’s Day destination, Olivia’s Café at Old Key West may be perfect for you.
This Animal Kingdom Lodge restaurant, located at Kidani Village, features African-Indian style dishes, including an Indian-style bread service with its own fan following, and 9-foot-tall windows offering views of the savanna and the wildlife! Sanaa is special because it offers a menu and views that can’t be found just anywhere. A Valentine’s Day spent here is sure to be original and unforgettable.
The BOATHOUSE Restaurant
The BOATHOUSE Restaurant at Disney Springs sits on the water’s edge, offering both indoor seating and exterior dockside dining. This Disney Springs favorite is famous for its steak and seafood menu, as well as its signature Amphicar cruises (cars that can actually float!). In fact, a cruise in an Amphicar would be the perfect finale to a Valentine’s Day dinner, don’t you think? Note: Can’t find a reservation on the MyDisneyExperience App? There may still be tables available if you check in person or through the OpenTable app or website. I have never not been able to get a table during lunch hours, even during the busy season.
A relatively new addition to Animal Kingdom, Tiffins offers park-goers a signature dining experience themed after the research travels of Imagineers. The menu is inspired by real-world destinations, such as Asia and Africa, which in turn inspired Animal Kingdom. This means standard dinner fare is in short supply, but the quality of the exotic dishes are fantastic. Tiffins is ideal for couples who love travel and enjoy both fine dining and something adventurous!
Honorable Mention: Boatwright’s Dining Hall at Port Orleans Resort – Riverside; Nine Dragons Restaurant, Tokyo Dining, Spice Road Table, and Restaurant Marrakesh at Epcot; and the Splitsville Dining Room and Paddlefish at Disney Springs all may have availability at the last minute. You may also have luck with securing reservations at Il Mulino, bluezoo, and Shula’s in the Swan and Dolphin resorts and Ravello at the Four Seasons through the OpenTable web site or app.
Still haven’t found the right restaurant to celebrate Valentine’s Day? Consider a Valentine’s Day lunch or early dinner! Those particular time slots often offer more availability. It’s also worth it to check and keep checking for cancellations and open last-minute reservations. You never know what might open up. Have a Happy Valentine’s Day!
Ever done a Valentine’s Day meal at Walt Disney World that was memorable (for good or not so good reasons)? Let us know in the comments what’s your Valentine’s Day success or horror stories.